[Pnews] Bassem Tamimi to his daughter Ahed on her birthday: “It is your smile that will bring us towards a brighter future”
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 2 10:17:53 EST 2018
Bassem Tamimi to his daughter Ahed on her birthday: “It is your smile
that will bring us towards a brighter future”
2 February 2018
Bassem Tamimi, the father of imprisoned Palestinian teen activist Ahed
(and the husband of Nariman Tamimi, imprisoned alongside their daughter)
issued a powerful message on his Facebook account
<https://www.facebook.com/BassemTamimi2020/posts/10214114201041342> on 2
February, greeting his daughter as she turned 17 on 31 January
Palestinians and solidarity organizers around the world held
demonstrations, celebrations and gatherings
demanding Ahed’s freedom as well as that of her fellow Palestinian
prisoners – and Palestine itself. Further events and actions are planned
in the coming days.
Bassem Tamimi himself has spent years in prison – including as an
Amnesty International recognized prisoner of conscience – for his role
in the indigenous land defense movement in the Palestinian village of
targeted for repression and land and water confiscation by occupation
forces and settler colonial Zionism.
His moving birthday message to his imprisoned daughter Ahed is reprinted
Good morning my friends
Birthday… and trial
To be able to write you in a moment like this, I had to lay down in your
bed. Then, when I rested my head on your little pillow, you recharged my
soul was charged to the brim with gratitude the memory of your
generosity. How can my spirit not be lifted when you were the one who
brought the world to a gale like a hurricane, you made it bare itself
like a volcano?
My courageous, beautiful, shy and bold little girl – victory is
befitting of you as much as joy suits you. My daughter, I am so sorry I
could not protect you from the ugliness of the Occupation. I am sorry I
left the oranges of Yafa sad and unpeeled, yearning for your touch. You
are now surrounded by bars of iron, in a place where time is stale, and
freedom and love are non-existent. Yet, it is in that cell that my hope
of a better future and the certainty we will achieve it is now placed.
You, my ray of hope, are locked in a prison, which is built on the ruins
of Imm Khaled, near the shore of our sea. The same Imm Khaled that was
ethnically cleansed by the army you slapped.
Ahed, your cell, halfway to Haifa, on the through which we will one day
return. There, I imagine myself with you, the sound of my voice
resonating from behind the walls – Ahed… Ahed… Ahed… My daughter, the
strings of my soul – may each year see you shine brighter with the truth
you hold inside. May each year see you stronger, more joyful, and as
solid as the rocks that hold back the rage of oceans.
When parents celebrate their children’s birthdays, we try to make them
special and unforgettable – worthy of this wondrous occasion. As
parents, these days bring a soft and graceful joy to our hearts.
Today is your birthday, but I woke up in the middle of the night, not
with excitement, but rather uncomfortable and short of breath. This
birthday of yours different than the ones before it. Yes, it is the day
you were born in, but you are forcefully kept farther away than I can
bear. Still, you are closer to my heart than you could ever imagine.
Today my daughter you are a year wiser, a year filled with an even
deeper love for your homeland. Today you enter a year that will be
harder than those that preceded it. I dread the thought of your prison
nights and the knowledge of their chill.
Prison nights are not like those at home, with us. The commotion of
birthday parties is a stark contrast to the loneliness of the prison
cell they have you in. I am so sorry. All I want is to gently stroke
your golden hair my little girl, as I’ve done since you were a baby; to
tenderly embrace you after you blow the 17 candles on your birthday
cake, like I have done since you turned one. But how can my longing for
you can surpass those bars of steel that are now placed between us?
Do not worry Ahed, we will see joy again and celebrate as we always
have. I hereby promise, your brothers and I will stand at the gates of
prison and sing for you and your mother’s freedom. We will demand the
freedom of all those imprisoned unjustly; we will demand freedom for all
free spirits. And you and your mother will sing with us, and pound on
the prison walls with your mighty power.
Tonight we will celebrate your birthday by showing the world that no
matter what happens, we celebrate life. We teach life. We love life and
will not let this love be squashed. Never.
But until this evening comes when we celebrate together as a family, I
wish you to stay strong and resilient. I know the soldiers may come at
midnight, shackle you, and drag you through another interrogation
session. If you can dress warmly, put on an extra shirt, because they
will do their best to take away the warmth. Every room they will put you
in, every military vehicle, will be freezing cold, on purpose. But I
know I need not worry. I know how warm your soul is. You shouldn’t be,
you really shouldn’t be, my little girl, but I know that you can take
whatever darkness and coldness they try and torture you with.
Whatever decision it will make, the Israeli military court you will be
tried in will not give you justice. These courts were not built to bring
justice, these judges do not desire justice, they were built in a realm
outside of humanity. 99% of those who stand before them are found
guilty. But these are all just the symptoms of the illness – even if you
are acquitted, these courts cannot ever be a tool of justice, since they
are just another cog in the machine of military occupation. Colonialism
and the basic values of mankind will never cross paths. the Occupation
can never intersect with freedom, justice, and dignity.
Humanity is beautiful. It paints life with a brush of grace and endows
it with beauty. The occupation is ugly, and it is made to disfigure the
face of humanity. My daughter, free people do not get lost in their own
narcissism, for none of us alone are anything if we do not connect to a
deeper purpose and do not dedicate ourselves to positive action. It is
through our deep connection, purpose, and action that we move from the
solitary conditions of our birth to the real meaning and preciousness
that the world has to offer. It is this awareness that allows humanity
collective consciousness. You, my little girl, have tapped into that
consciousness of all humanity.
They take you to trial because they want to kill that sense of humanity
that is in you; they want to destroy your sense of collective struggle
for a better world. It is too dangerous for them to handle. Believe it
or not, they are even trying to take away your youth saying that, as you
turn 17, you are a child no more. And I ask, does your childhood take a
different path than you yourself on the day of 17, or does your
childhood have a little more time to play in the orchards of youth and
enjoy the last of your school days in peace?
Israel’s experts in immoral law may freely deliberate the unlawfulness
of the slap served to their fully armed soldier by a girl and shattered
their military manliness and put their fragile institutions at risk of
collapse. Let them. Care not about their immoral military laws, for
these laws are outside of the confines of humanity.
My little angel… Do not bother yourself with the words of those who
trade in politics and religion like merchants in the market. Religious
men, pious in their own eyes, want to discuss your hair in order to take
attention away from your struggle and its legitimacy. The indoctrinated,
unadulterated in their own eyes, do not recognize the humanity and truth
in anyone who does not blindly pleads loyalty to their dogmas.
Then there are those who are always absent; the ones who refuse to take
a stance for that which is right, who shiver at the idea of standing up
in the face of oppression. They refuse to confront brutality, and those
who struggle for freedom, like you, tear off their masks to show them
for what they are.
Don’t worry about those who criticize you now, my little girl. Your
bravery has turned you into a lightning rod and those fear their own
hypocrisy revealed want to hide by hurting you. All their criticism of
you is made up so that they can continue to hide behind their fears.
They know, it is your courage that has reminded everyone – the emperor
has no clothes.
Here you stand before the world – like days past and days to come – full
of truth because you were raised to be honest with yourself and others,
and you have learned from our land and history that true freedom comes
from having agency. It comes from being willing to challenge fear time
and time again. To refuse to give up your dignity.
Now your tiny slap has shaken their mighty blood thirsty military to the
core and shattered their symbolic deterrence. Your own personal truth is
our truth, the truth of our historical and human struggle to stay on
this land. It challenges the false narratives they have, about us and of
Your truth now carries with it a whole generation that has refused to
surrender to oppression, a generation that will continue to fight for
its freedom. Your truth shines through because you stood up for your
community and your homeland and those you love. You refused to belong to
anything but yourself and Palestine.
Your truth is purer than ever, because in our day and age in Palestine,
those who are pure can be found in two places, either as political
prisoners on the edge of freedom, or as martyrs who have been taken from
us and are now watching us in heaven. Your truth is now a beacon of hope
for people around the world that have chosen to resist oppression
instead of succumbing to it.
Do not worry, my little daughter – your freedom, as is the end of the
Occupation is near, and those who stood against our freedom – the
hypocrites and extremists and cowards – will not be left with nothing
but disappointment when history is written.
When I return home tonight, I will go to your room with your brothers
and we will light a candle for you, and feel your presence with us,
chanting that you are our “Ahed”, our promise for a better world. Like
an Olive Tree grounded in the earth.
Your mother is waiting for you back in prison. If you get to see her,
please hug her for me, and celebrate your birthday together with us in
your hearts. And if you are kept alone until dawn in their metal boxes,
just take a seat on the saddle of hope, rise up on the horse of courage
you have imagined since you were a little girl, do not pay attention to
those who want to deceive and hurt you, just look at the sun rise from
the small hatch and shine your smile back at it, for it is your smile
that will bring us towards a brighter future.
I miss you Ahed, but I say happy birthday. May every year that comes
make you stronger. May you always be full of love and bursting with truth.
Your loving father.
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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